Sometime in the future, terrorism in Japan has become commonplace, and the police have become almost as brutal as criminals. A member of the Special Security Force known as Angel, is the best of the best, stopping at nothing in her fight for justice.
Things get interesting for Angel and her partner, Raiden, when they begin investigating a series of murders in which the victims were known criminals, killed in very unpleasant ways. This trio of killers known as Hunters, is a group of psychics that have banded together to hunt down the lowest scum in the city and bring them to justice.
After a couple of encounters between the cops and the psychics, two of the psychics begin to think that maybe they're not the good guys after all; but the third prefers killing to morality. Augmented by cybernetics from a mysterious source, this third hunter heads out on a killing spree, with the Special Security Force as the first target.
Even with help from the other two psychics and her newly cyborged partner (after an unfortunate accident), Angel is going to have her work cut out trying to find the rogue psychic and the organization behind the Hunters.
Angel cop is a interesting classic anime that has wonderful music has violence and crime. It's a good anime and its right up there with 8man and dominion tank police for me.
I totally suggest watching this !
The golden era of the 'Original Video Animation' or 'Original Animated Video' is a time which is remembered fondly by many anime fans. Beginning in the early to mid nineteen eighties, the age of the OVA continued right until the end of the millennium, and throughout the years produced some of the finest animation to ever come out of Japan; from its earliest classics like 'Top wo Nerae!' to works like 'Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen' and 'FLCL' in its twilight years. The format can even boast 'Legend of the Galactic Heroes' among its ranks, an anime that is often touted as the greatest ever made.
of that matters, because we don't remember OVA format for the less-commercialised or more creative and experimental nature it tended to produce. No, we remember the OVA for the veritable smorgasbord of ridiculous trash it spawned in the late eighties and early nineties, and then charitably brought to Western shores by companies like Manga Entertainment and Central Park Media and now providing entertainment for drunken anime fans the world over. Today we will be taking a closer look at one of the less terrible examples of this bygone era; the delightfully offensive (or just offensive) five episode spectacular that is 'Angel Cop'.
Angel Cop is the story of a special branch of Japanese police officers, known as 'Special Security Agents', remarkable because it is neither a contrived acronym nor a portmanteau. The role of the 'Special Security Agents' is somewhere between a police force, a counter-terrorism unit and a band of superheroes. They operate within the context of the Japanese police force, but without unnecessary burdens like the judicial system or human rights laws to weigh them down. Naturally, all their members have almost superhuman abilities. This is in contrast to some of the other characters, which I will discuss later.
Throughout the OVA, the Special Security Agents are involved battling against a conspiracy; the nature of which depends on the version you watch. If you choose to watch the dubbed version (which you would, since that is the whole point of watching bad 80s OVAs) then they are battling against the Red May, a communist terror organisation which is actually a front for a greedy capitalist government... as you can imagine, it makes absolutely no sense at all and clearly wasn't intended to be a work of political intrigue.
But not making any sense at all is hardly a surprise when you take a complete production and introduce radical changes to the storyline, just because you are worried that some people might be offended about a couple of offhand remarks that some could choose to interpret as 'anti-Semitic'.
If you choose to watch the fan subbed version of the original Japanese version, you'll find that the story of a communist terror organisation that is a front for a corrupt government is itself a front for a story about a Jewish Zionist domination conspiracy... This also goes some way to explaining the use of so many Judeo-Christian references and imagery in an anime without any clear connexion to religion whatsoever.
Naturally when the show was brought to the West, the licensing company decided that racist conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic tones would not go over well with audiences. Not wanting to waste this otherwise wholesome story filled with violence, gore and sexual imagery they decided to change the story completely for the dubbed version, and then, for good measure, inserted random swear words into every second line. The result is, to put it simply, so fucking stupid that I don't understand how the piss they come up with this fucking shit.
The title refers to the main character; a woman named 'Angel' but described as a 'total bitch' in her own terms. Naturally this aspect of her character changes over the course of the show and by the end her character has made the transition from cyberpunk feminist icon to bawling blob of moe; by which I mean she actually hesitates before blowing her own partner's brains out in order to kill a genetically enhanced psychic military experiment. Yes, you read that right.
Analysing most of the cast in any real depth would be a waste of time. With only a few exceptions, all of them are entirely one dimensional and completely uninspired. Furthermore, describing their qualities would involve investing more time into the characters than the time the creators invested in their screen time. Developing them is unnecessary because we've seen them all so many times before, and since they're not gonna last why even bother trying to give them any depth?
At the end of the day, Angel Cop is all about the action; and that's okay, because that is all we really wanted in the first place. It comes thick and fast, it comes in a variety of forms and it's never too repetitive or sporadic for us to ever really notice the ludicrousness of the actual story. It manages to delve between the reality of the relatively near future and the realms of science fiction and fantasy without seeming discontinuous or out of place. The animation, while not "good" by any means, is functional and only in the last episode does the shoddy workmanship start to become obtrusive.
The same cannot be said for the soundtrack, which is often so inappropriate it is a curiosity. The defining moment of this is the very first time the ending theme plays, which is so inappropriate that one cannot help but laugh. Additionally, on several occasions the action scenes -which are quite violent and bloody- will be supplemented with light hearted, optimistic music. The purpose of background music is to complement the image on screen without becoming a distraction, but in Angel Cop the contrast between the two can become so stark that it actually leaves you feeling puzzled.
However to be fair to Angel Cop this is not always the case; nor is the music exceptionally bad. It mainly uses a combination of harder sounding electronic music for action scenes, with more surreal sounding music to enhance the more paranormal or mysterious aspects of the show. The backing music for the action is fit for purpose but unremarkable, while the paranormal music is repetitive, clichéd and quickly becomes irritating. On all accounts, the soundtrack is the worst thing about Angel Cop, with the exception of the highly offensive original storyline.
Having explored every aspect of Angel Cop, we can conclude that it is not exactly a work of quality. The story is riddled with clichés, and the plot is a total mess. The cast consists entirely of hackneyed stereotypes. The animation is unexceptional, if not outright bad, and the soundtrack is so unsuitable for the task at hand that it's actually humorous. As a production, Angel Cop is completely uninspired and poorly made.
But to see it for what it really is, would be to miss the point entirely. You are not watching Angel Cop because you expect it to be good, but because you expect it to be bad. A very special kind of bad, to the point where it is almost self-conscious, where there is no other objective than producing trash lower than the level of the lowest common denominator, and doing it unreservedly and unashamedly. And from there, it is simply a matter of providing creative licence to the art of translation and making the cheapest voiceover possible, before you've transcended both bad and good; to produce something that is so bad... it is good.
"If this is JUSTICE... then I am a banana!" Just try to imagine lines as stupid as that being read with a speech cadence that makes Christopher Walken's seem ordinary. Today I am revisiting and re-reviewing one of the worst anime I have ever tackled on MAL. Angel Cop is fairly famous in circles of older otaku for being one of the absolute worst anime of all time. I didn't adequately explain just how BAD this series is last time, so I hope to recitify that with this new review!
The plot is that in the future, Japan has become a global superpower and
the evil Americans wish to destroy Japan by bribing the Japanese government to turn Japan into a nuclear waste dump, which would sterilize and kill off the population. This level of extreme Japanese nationalism, terrible writing, and anti-American xenophobia is nothing new to anime and wasn't the reason Angel Cop failed. Code Geass was at least that bad and it actually became hugely popular! Angel Cop takes things one step further by stating America is controlled by evil Jews and launches into a massive anti-Semitic diatribe. Of course, extreme anti-Semitism is also not the reason Angel Cop failed. Code Geass turned the beloved Jewish scientist Albert Einstein into the evil, racist, cowardly, and reviled character Nina Einstein, and no one had a problem with that. Angel Cop failed because at every level of storytelling it is a complete mess. The characters are poorly written, the execution of the plot is terrible, the ending is terrible, pretty much everything is terrible! The story begins with a communist terrorist attack by the the Japanese Red Army, who was an actual terrorist group at the time this series was made. The government responds to this terrorist attack by creating Judge Dredd style super cops that act as "judge, jury, and executioner"! The main character Angel is of course one of these super cops. She must uncover the conspiracy while fighting the terrorists and even fight against elite psychic special forces sent by the Americans. The plot gets dumber and dumber as it goes on. You would think that this series was written by 1000 chimpanzees with type writers, yet the writer of this garbage later went on the write...Full Metal Alchemist! How is that even possible!? Of course knowing Japan's "good ol boy" system where seniority takes precedence over talent, it is quite possible that the FMA script was written by a young nameless intern and the credit was simply stolen by Sho Aikawa. That would actually make more sense than Aikawa writing this, Legend of the Overfiend, Violence Jack, then after 20 years suddenly resurfacing and is all of a sudden an amazing writer.
Edit: Sho Aikawa only wrote the dialogue for episodes 1-3. The scenario and plot was written by Ichiro Itano, who also wrote all the dialogue for episodes 4-6. I learned this from the special features of the Angel Cop Bluray I bought! I know this is 4 years late, but apologies to Aikawa. Oh, and BTW all the rabid Antisemitism was entirely Itano's doing.
The main character is Angel, who is a generic 80s badass that blows away all the bad guys and doesn't give a fuck who she has to kill in order to accomplish the mission. Her main opponent is an agent sent by the evil American Jews named Lucifer, who is best described as a poor drawing of a drag queen attempting to impersonate Sharon Stone. Lucifer fights with her deadly fingernails and psychic powers, which Angel is only able to overcome at the very end. There are also some corrupt Japanese government officials and some anti-Semitic stereotype characters, but no one cares about them. No characters in this pile of shit are interesting, well written, or likeable in any way!
The one thing that "saved" Angel Cop and actually made it fun to watch was the HORRIBLE English dub provided by the incompetent buffoons at Central Park Media. In order to market their titles as more "mature", Central Park often added in a ridiculous level of swearing that often makes no sense and doesn't reflect the way ANY HUMAN actually swears. Characters will just randomly yell things like SHIITT....AANNNDDD PIIISSS! It is absolutely hilarious how bad this dub is. If you ever watch Angel Cop, the only reason should be the bad English dub. NEVER watch this series in the original Japanese! You will just get bored.
It is fairly amusing simply because it is so bad. At least it isn't boring with the consistantly hysterical English dub!
Angel Cop avoids a 1/10 only because it is entertainingly bad and not simply bad and boring. That makes it more like Plan 9 from Outer Space and not Manos the Hands of Fate, where 10 minutes are spent driving through the middle of nowhere because the director promised the crew that everyone would have thier name on screen for 5 seconds, and then forgot to add names in post production!
"Unless you want a .45 caliber lobotomy real fucking back, you better tell your friend over there to put the fucking knife down." - Angel
I have returned once again, from the gratuitously ultraviolent era of anime past... the 80s OVAs! For those who aren't yet in the know- the 80s are now famous for having produced some of the most outrageous, over the top bloody, gory, and violent anime ever. Back when you had to get anime on sketchy bootleg VHS tapes that cost $40 a pop just to see an animated titty. Back when blowing heads off and turning characters into meat fountains was
chic. This turned a series of widely varying in quality and appeal anime into cult classics.
Titles like Violence Jack, Genocyber, Mad Bull 34, Wicked City, and our very own Angel Cop will forever be remembered for their contribution of an obscenely ridiculous plot with dubs to match.
This is not to say that Angel Cop is by any means a good anime, no matter what the underground following says.
Sound and Voice Acting: 6
The dub is not as hilariously bad as it was described to me, but decidedly hilariously average, and probably even a good quality production for the time. Sure, there's a few memorable one liners that sound like something someone from another planet who'd studied only extremely dated euphemisms and idioms from 20 years before this anime was even made would say... or just ad libbing. I did once read about the ADR director that worked for Central Park Media at the time- named "One Take" Tony Scorlietti. He had a thing for making every character have a thick NY accent and cursing as much as possible. SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT... PIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSS!
Sometimes it felt like Tourettes Guy was the scriptwriter for this series, no lie.
Artwork and Animation: 8
What was decidedly above average was the art in this OVA. Its contemporaries Violence Jack and Mad Bull look like ASS in the animation department. They're straight up terrible. Angel Cop, surprisingly, looks really nice. It's fluid for the most part, and the animation of the characters and their models are fleshed out and not recycled over and over, or with horrible drops in detail level. Angel Cop keeps the gore level high, and there are some pretty squishy, grotesque killings. Cool factor +2 for disgusting displays of viscera.
Characters and Story: 4
The characters are as follows: Robocop, Impossibly Badass Female Supercop, Steve Perry mixed with Steven Tyler, complete with an enormous 80s glam rockstar-do, Doll Girl, Dick Tracy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger with boobs and psychic powers.
Do with that as you will.
The story is a snoozer, and I didn't even care enough to go back and listen to what was supposed to be happening, and it didn't much matter. What matters is that a psychotic psychic bitch named Lucifer is going on a rampage for some suits who want to turn Japan into a nuclear waste pit, in the vein of Fallout. "When kids start growing two heads, you don't think people will notice that shit?" Dick Tracy says.
So, in order to stop the suits, their psycho test subject has to be subjugated to reveal the really poorly planned get rich quick scheme behind the murders. It's up to Angel and her partner Robocop to shut that shit down... and totally annihilate everyone in their way. Yay for drama. Yay for murder.
Enjoyment and Overall: 7, 6
While not nearly as crazy or funny as Mad Bull, nor as graphic as Violence Jack, Angel Cop falls somewhere in the middle. The dub is classic Central Park Media, and worth watching for that alone, but the actually decent visuals are a plus too. Imagine if Mad Bull had half the budget of Akira, and you've got something in the ballpark of Angel Cop.
There's also an unintentionally hilarious scene where a guy gets shot multiple times because another character can't aim with the other hand that basically makes the OVA.
This is must-see TV for 80's OVA fiends like me, or anyone who enjoys a short romp in the realm of the bloody ridiculous.